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Journal of a Residence Among the Negroes of the West Indies
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Lewis' Journal of a Residence Among the Negroes in the West Indies was first published posthumously in 1834 under the title Journal of a West Indian Proprietor, Kept During a Residence in the Island of Jamaica. It describes the author's visits to his estate on the island in 1815-1816 and 1817, after the abolition of the slave trade but before emancipation. The author himself was an opponent of slavery, although he did not campaign for its abolition, instead working to improve conditions for the 400 slaves who worked on his estate, which made him unpopular with other plantation owners, and he was in contact with the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. Written in an engaging and witty style, Lewis' journal provides a fascinating account of life on a Jamaican sugar plantation during the period when the abolition of slavery in the British Empire was an important political issue.
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Matthew Lewis was born in London in 1775. A diplomat for a brief period and later an MP, he was best-known for The Monk, a Gothic novel in the style of Ann Radcliffe, although far more sexually explicit. In 1812 he inherited the family estate in Jamaica, which he visited twice, writing the Journal of a Residence Among the Negroes (published posthumously). On his second visit he caught yellow fever and died on the way back to England in 1818 and was buried at sea.

About the Author

Matthew Lewis was born in London in 1775. A diplomat for a brief period and later an MP, he was best-known for The Monk, a Gothic novel in the style of Ann Radcliffe, although far more sexually explicit. In 1812 he inherited the family estate in Jamaica, which he visited twice, writing the Journal of a Residence Among the Negroes (published posthumously). On his second visit he caught yellow fever and died on the way back to England in 1818 and was buried at sea.

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